The sermon is based on Deuteronomy 15, Psalm 77 & 1 Corinthians 11
Deuteronomy 15 (CEB)
Year of canceled debts
15 Every seventh year you must cancel all debts. 2 This is how the cancellation is to be handled: Creditors will forgive the loans of their fellow Israelites. They won’t demand repayment from their neighbors or their relatives because the Lord’s year of debt cancellation has been announced. 3 You are allowed to demand payment from foreigners, but whatever is owed you from your fellow Israelites you must forgive. 4 Of course there won’t be any poor persons among you because the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, 5 but only if you carefully obey the Lord your God’s voice, by carefully doing every bit of this commandment that I’m giving you right now. 6 Once the Lord your God has blessed you, exactly as he said he would, you will end up lending to many different peoples but won’t need to borrow a thing. You will dominate many different peoples, but they won’t dominate you.
7 Now if there are some poor persons among you, say one of your fellow Israelites in one of your cities in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, don’t be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward your poor fellow Israelites. 8 To the contrary! Open your hand wide to them. You must generously lend them whatever they need. 9 But watch yourself! Make sure no wicked thought crosses your mind, such as, The seventh year is coming—the year of debt cancellation—so that you resent your poor fellow Israelites and don’t give them anything. If you do that, they will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin. 10 No, give generously to needy persons. Don’t resent giving to them because it is this very thing that will lead to the Lord your God’s blessing you in all you do and work at. 11 Poor persons will never disappear from the earth. That’s why I’m giving you this command: you must open your hand generously to your fellow Israelites, to the needy among you, and to the poor who live with you in your land.
12 If any of your fellow Hebrews, male or female, sell themselves into your service, they can work for you for six years, but in the seventh year you must set them free from your service. 13 Furthermore, when you set them free from your service, you must not let them go empty-handed.14 Instead, provide for them fully from your flock, food, and wine. You must give to them from that with which the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember how each of you were slaves in Egypt and how the Lord your God saved you. That’s why I am commanding you to do this right now. (16 Now if your male servant says to you: “I don’t want to leave your service” because he loves you and your family and because life is good for him in your service, 17 then you may take a needle and pierce his ear with it into the doorframe. From that point on, he will be your permanent servant. Do the same thing for female servants.)18 Don’t consider it a hardship to set these servants free from your service, because they worked for you for six years—at a value double that of a paid worker. The Lord your God will bless you in everything that you do.
19 You must devote every oldest male animal from your herds or flocks to the Lord your God. Don’t plow with your oldest male ox and don’t shear your oldest male sheep. 20 Year after year, you and your family are allowed to eat these animals in the presence of the Lord your God, in the location the Lord selects. 21 But if there is any defect in it, lameness, blindness, any flaw whatsoever, you must not sacrifice it to the Lordyour God. 22 You are allowed to eat those in your own cities, whether you are polluted or purified, just as you would eat gazelle or deer.23 Even so, don’t consume any blood. Pour it out on the ground, like water.
Psalm 77 (CEB)
77 I cry out loud to God—
out loud to God so that he can hear me!
2 During the day when I’m in trouble I look for my Lord.
At night my hands are still outstretched and don’t grow numb;
my whole being[a] refuses to be comforted.
3 I remember God and I moan.
I complain, and my spirit grows tired. Selah
4 You’ve kept my eyelids from closing.
I’m so upset I can’t even speak.
5 I think about days long past;
I remember years that seem an eternity in the past.
6 I meditate with my heart at night;[b]
I complain, and my spirit keeps searching:
7 “Will my Lord reject me forever?
Will he never be pleased again?
8 Has his faithful love come to a complete end?
Is his promise over for future generations?
9 Has God forgotten how to be gracious?
Has he angrily stopped up his compassion?” Selah
10 It’s my misfortune, I thought,
that the strong hand of the Most High is different now.
11 But I will remember the Lord’s deeds;
yes, I will remember your wondrous acts from times long past.
12 I will meditate on all your works;
I will ponder your deeds.
13 God, your way is holiness!
Who is as great a god as you, God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have demonstrated your strength among all peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people;
redeemed the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 The waters saw you, God—
the waters saw you and reeled!
Even the deep depths shook!
17 The clouds poured water,
the skies cracked thunder;
your arrows were flying all around!
18 The crash of your thunder was in the swirling storm;
lightning lit up the whole world;
the earth shook and quaked.
19 Your way went straight through the sea;
your pathways went right through the mighty waters.
But your footprints left no trace!
20 You led your people like sheep
under the care of Moses and Aaron.
1 Corinthians 11 (CEB)
11 1 Follow my example, just like I follow Christ’s.
Appropriate dress in worship
2 I praise you because you remember all my instructions, and you hold on to the traditions exactly as I handed them on to you. 3 Now I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered shames his head.
5 Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disgraces her head. It is the same thing as having her head shaved. 6 If a woman doesn’t cover her head, then she should have her hair cut off. If it is disgraceful for a woman to have short hair or to be shaved, then she should keep her head covered. 7 A man shouldn’t have his head covered, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is man’s glory. 8 Man didn’t have his origin from woman, but woman from man; 9 and man wasn’t created for the sake of the woman, but the woman for the sake of the man. 10 Because of this a woman should have authority over her head, because of the angels. 11 However, woman isn’t independent from man, and man isn’t independent from woman in the Lord. 12 As woman came from man so also man comes from woman. But everything comes from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: Is it appropriate for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Doesn’t nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him; 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? This is because her long hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if someone wants to argue about this, we don’t have such a custom, nor do God’s churches.
The community meal
17 Now I don’t praise you as I give the following instruction because when you meet together, it does more harm than good. 18 First of all, when you meet together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and I partly believe it. 19 It’s necessary that there are groups among you, to make it clear who is genuine. 20 So when you get together in one place, it isn’t to eat the Lord’s meal. 21 Each of you goes ahead and eats a private meal. One person goes hungry while another is drunk. 22 Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on God’s churches and humiliate those who have nothing? What can I say to you? Will I praise you? No, I don’t praise you in this.
23 I received a tradition from the Lord, which I also handed on to you: on the night on which he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread. 24 After giving thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this to remember me.” 25 He did the same thing with the cup, after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do this to remember me.” 26 Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you broadcast the death of the Lord until he comes.
27 This is why those who eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord inappropriately will be guilty of the Lord’s body and blood. 28 Each individual should test himself or herself, and eat from the bread and drink from the cup in that way. 29 Those who eat and drink without correctly understanding the body are eating and drinking their own judgment. 30 Because of this, many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few have died. 31 But if we had judged ourselves, we wouldn’t be judged. 32 However, we are disciplined by the Lord when we are judged so that we won’t be judged and condemned along with the whole world.33 For these reasons, my brothers and sisters, when you get together to eat, wait for each other. 34 If some of you are hungry, they should eat at home so that getting together doesn’t lead to judgment. I will give directions about the other things when I come.